Open main menu

The 1962 New York Mets season was the first regular season for the Mets, as the National League returned to New York City for the first time since 1957. They went 40–120 (.250) and finished tenth and last in the National League, ​60 12 games behind the NL Champion San Francisco Giants, who once called New York home. The Mets were the latest team to be 60+ games behind in a division before the 2018 Baltimore Orioles finished 61 games behind the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. The Mets' 120 losses are the most by any MLB team in one season since the 1899 Cleveland Spiders (20–134, .130). Since then, the 2003 Detroit Tigers and 2018 Orioles have come the closest to matching this mark, at 43–119 (.265), and 47-115 (.290), respectively. The Mets' starting pitchers also recorded a new major league low of just 23 wins all season.[1]

1962 New York Mets
Inaugural Season
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s)Joan Payson
General manager(s)George Weiss
Manager(s)Casey Stengel
Local televisionWOR-TV
Local radioWABC (AM)
(Ralph Kiner, Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy)
     Next season >

The team lost its first game 11–4 to the St. Louis Cardinals on April 11, and went on to lose its first nine games. Having repaired their record to 12–19 on May 20 after sweeping a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Braves, the Mets lost their next 17 games. They also lost 11 straight from July 15 to July 26, and 13 straight from August 9 to August 21. Their longest winning streak of the season was three.[2]

The Mets were managed by Casey Stengel and played their home games at the Polo Grounds, which was their temporary home while Shea Stadium was being built in Queens. They remain infamous for their ineptitude and were one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball history. Their team batting average, team earned run average (ERA), and team fielding percentage were all the worst in the major leagues that season.[3]

Despite the team's terrible performance, fans came out in droves. Their season attendance of 922,530 was good enough for 6th in the National League that year.

The season was chronicled in Jimmy Breslin's humorous best-selling book Can't Anybody Here Play This Game? The title came from a remark made by manager Casey Stengel expressing his frustration over the team's poor play.

Contents

OffseasonEdit

  • July 20, 1961: Paul Blair was signed as an amateur free agent by the Mets.[4]
  • October 16, 1961: Billy Loes was purchased by the Mets from the San Francisco Giants.[5]
  • November 28, 1961: The Mets traded a player to be named later and cash to the Milwaukee Braves for Frank Thomas and a player to be named later. The deal was completed on May 21, 1962, when the Mets sent Gus Bell to the Braves, and the Braves sent Rick Herrscher to the Mets.[6]
  • January 30, 1962: Joe Ginsberg was signed as a free agent by the Mets.[7]
  • March 2, 1962: Billy Loes was returned by the Mets to the San Francisco Giants.[5]

Expansion draftEdit

1961 minor league affiliatesEdit

The Mets and Houston Colt .45s were established on October 17, 1960, giving them time to acquire minor league professional players, sign amateur free agents (there was no first-year MLB draft until 1965) and enter into working agreements with minor league affiliates during the 1961 season. New York had formal working agreements with three minor league baseball teams in 1961:

Level Team League Manager
AA Mobile Bears Southern Association Ernie White
B Raleigh Capitals Carolina League Enos Slaughter
D Lexington Indians Western Carolinas League Jack Hale

Regular seasonEdit

Season standingsEdit

National League W L Pct. GB Home Road
San Francisco Giants 103 62 0.624 61–21 42–41
Los Angeles Dodgers 102 63 0.618 1 54–29 48–34
Cincinnati Reds 98 64 0.605 58–23 40–41
Pittsburgh Pirates 93 68 0.578 8 51–30 42–38
Milwaukee Braves 86 76 0.531 15½ 49–32 37–44
St. Louis Cardinals 84 78 0.519 17½ 44–37 40–41
Philadelphia Phillies 81 80 0.503 20 46–34 35–46
Houston Colt .45s 64 96 0.400 36½ 32–48 32–48
Chicago Cubs 59 103 0.364 42½ 32–49 27–54
New York Mets 40 120 0.250 60½ 22–58 18–62

Opening Day lineupEdit

The first game in franchise history was played on the road, at Busch Stadium, St. Louis, on Wednesday night, April 11, 1962. The Mets fell behind 5–0 early, then narrowed the deficit to one run, but ultimately lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, 11–4. Former Brooklyn Dodgers Gil Hodges and Charlie Neal homered for the Mets, whose home opener at New York's Polo Grounds would wait until their second-ever official game, on Friday, April 13, 1962.

  1 Richie Ashburn    CF
18 Félix Mantilla    SS
  4 Charlie Neal     2B
25 Frank Thomas LF
  3 Gus Bell RF
14 Gil Hodges 1B
17 Don Zimmer 3B
  5 Hobie Landrith C
38 Roger Craig P

Record vs. opponentsEdit

1962 National League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]
Team CHC CIN HOU LAD MIL NYM PHI PIT SF STL
Chicago 4–14 7–11 4–14 8–10 9–9 10–8 4–14 6–12 7–11
Cincinnati 14–4 13–5 9–9 13–5 13–5 8–10 13–5 7–11 8–10
Houston 11–7 5–13 6–12 7–11 13–3–1 1–17 5–13 7–11 9–9–1
Los Angeles 14–4 9–9 12–6 10–8 16–2 14–4 10–8 10–11 7–11
Milwaukee 10–8 5–13 11–7 8–10 12–6 11–7 10–8 7–11 12–6
New York 9–9 5–13 3–13–1 2–16 6–12 4–14 2–16 4–14 5–13
Philadelphia 8–10 10–8 17–1 4–14 7–11 14–4 7–10 5–13 9–9
Pittsburgh 14–4 5–13 13–5 8–10 8–10 16–2 10–7 7–11 12–6
San Francisco 12–6 11–7 11–7 11–10 11–7 14–4 13–5 11–7 9–9
St. Louis 11–7 10–8 9–9–1 11–7 6–12 13–5 9–9 6–12 9–9


Notable transactionsEdit

RosterEdit

1962 New York Mets
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Player statsEdit

= Indicates team leader

BattingEdit

Starters by positionEdit

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Chris Cannizzaro 59 133 32 .241 0 9
1B Marv Throneberry 116 357 87 .244 16 49
2B Charlie Neal 136 508 132 .260 11 58
3B Félix Mantilla 141 466 128 .275 11 59
SS Elio Chacón 118 368 87 .236 2 27
LF Frank Thomas 156 571 152 .266 34 94
CF Jim Hickman 140 392 96 .245 13 46
RF Joe Christopher 119 271 66 .244 6 32

[20]

Other battersEdit

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Richie Ashburn 135 389 119 .306 7 28
Rod Kanehl 133 351 87 .248 4 27
Gene Woodling 81 190 52 .274 5 24
Sammy Taylor 68 158 35 .222 3 20
Choo Choo Coleman 55 152 38 .250 6 17
Gil Hodges 54 127 32 .252 9 17
Cliff Cook 40 112 26 .232 2 9
Gus Bell 30 101 15 .149 1 6
Ed Bouchee 50 87 14 .161 3 10
Joe Pignatano 27 56 13 .232 0 2
Sammy Drake 25 52 10 .192 0 7
Don Zimmer 14 52 4 .077 0 1
Rick Herrscher 35 50 11 .220 1 6
Hobie Landrith 23 45 13 .289 1 7
Harry Chiti 15 41 8 .195 0 0
Jim Marshall 17 32 11 .344 3 4
Bob Smith 8 22 3 .136 0 2
John DeMerit 14 16 3 .188 1 1
Ed Kranepool 3 6 1 .167 0 0
Joe Ginsberg 2 5 0 .000 0 0

[20]

PitchingEdit

Starting pitchersEdit

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Jay Hook 37 213.2 8 19 4.84 113
Roger Craig 42 233.1 10 24 4.51 118
Al Jackson 36 231.1 8 20 4.40 118

Other pitchersEdit

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L SV ERA SO
Bob L. Miller 33 143.2 1 12 0 4.89 91
Craig Anderson 50 131.1 3 17 4 5.35 62
Bob Moorhead 38 105.1 0 2 0 4.53 63
Willard Hunter 27 63 1 6 0 5.57 40
Sherman Jones 8 23.1 0 4 0 7.71 11
Galen Cisco 4 19.1 1 1 0 3.26 13
Larry Foss 5 11.2 0 1 0 4.63 3

Relief pitchersEdit

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L SV ERA SO
Ray Daviault 36 81 1 5 0 6.22 51
Ken MacKenzie 42 80 5 4 1 4.95 51
Vinegar Bend Mizell 17 38 0 2 0 7.34 15
Bob G. Miller 17 20.1 2 2 1 7.08 8
Dave Hillman 13 16.2 0 0 1 6.32 8
Herb Moford 7 15 0 1 0 7.20 5
Clem Labine 3 4 0 0 0 11.25 2

Awards and honorsEdit

League top five finishersEdit

Richie Ashburn

  • #3 in NL in bases on balls (81)

Roger Craig

  • MLB leader in losses (24)
  • #2 in NL in home runs allowed (35)
  • #3 in NL in earned runs allowed (117)

Jay Hook

  • #4 in NL in earned runs allowed (115)
  • #4 in NL in home runs allowed (31)

Al Jackson

  • #2 in NL in losses (20)

Farm systemEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Pitching Game Finder: From 1908 to 2018, Pitcher Won, as Starter, sorted by smallest Performances matching selected criteria by a Team". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  2. ^ Inc., Baseball Almanac,. "1962 New York Mets Schedule by Baseball Almanac".
  3. ^ "1962 MLB Team Statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  4. ^ "Paul Blair Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  5. ^ a b "Billy Loes Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  6. ^ "Frank Thomas Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  7. ^ a b "Joe Ginsberg Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  8. ^ "Gus Bell Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  9. ^ "Ed Bouchee Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  10. ^ "Hobie Landrith Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  11. ^ a b "Harry Chiti Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  12. ^ "Bobby Smith Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  13. ^ "Don Zimmer Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  14. ^ a b "Mets Obtain Three Players". The Gazette. Montreal. Associated Press. May 7, 1962. p. 22. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Vinegar Bend Mizell Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  16. ^ "The Times-News - Google News Archive Search".
  17. ^ "Gary Landrith Replaces Father". Schenectady Gazette. Associated Press. June 8, 1962. p. 22.
  18. ^ "Ed Kranepool Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  19. ^ "Galen Cisco Stats - Baseball-Reference.com".
  20. ^ a b "1962 New York Mets Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com".

ReferencesEdit